When: Elizabethtown Borough Council meeting, March 4, with some council members in chambers and some joining remotely.
What happened: Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic disruption it caused, Elizabethtown “weathered it well,” said Trout CPA auditor Sean Post, who presented council with the 2020 audit report.
By the numbers: A refinancing of outstanding debt early last year saved the borough over $200,000, Post noted. Even though council made over $500,000 in additional disbursements from the general fund as the year before, he said they were all “smart moves.” Additional state and federal emergency funds to help offset expenses and revenue shortfalls caused by COVID-19 were included in Trout’s analysis.
Grants: Council gave approval for Borough Manager Rebecca Denlinger to pursue funding through the Community Development Block Grant program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The program funds communities with housing, anti-poverty, and infrastructure projects. Elizabethtown will use the money, if awarded, for sewer pipe replacement along College Avenue.
GEARS: In response to concerns over liability raised by council President J. Marc Hershey at a February meeting, council was informed that the Greater Elizabethtown Recreation and Community Services has added the borough to its insurance policy. Council had requested some form of indemnification for the borough in waiver and release forms that the program requires due to the continued COVID-19 risk. GEARS has announced it plans again on holding its popular summer camps at the Elizabethtown Borough Park. Kickball and softball leagues are planned, as well as a return of the Movies in the Park series.
Police: Police Chief Ed Cunningham announced that with council approval, Elizabethtown will be welcoming two new officers, Michael Goshen, and Nathan Grant, on March 16.
College project delay: Council unanimously approved a request by Elizabethtown College for an extension to file the master development plan for its planned Master’s Center expansion.
Engineering: In reference to the borough’s request for a proposal for comprehensive engineering services last month, council member Jeff McCloud suggested that council might do well by seeking out minority-owned firms. He noted that seven months ago, following peaceful demonstrations downtown, council passed a resolution committing itself to respecting diversity and to seeking to make the issue a regular consideration in its business. “We need to take that step,” McCloud said. Council member Bill Troutman expressed his support of McCloud’s suggestion.